1. You wear your anti-trafficking merch like a badge of honor.
When you’re in that t-shirt from last year’s 5k fundraiser, you wouldn’t dare throw on a jacket and cover that logo. When you’re running errands, you’re in your benefit concert tee and ready and willing for someone to bring it up. Your favorite tees from your favorite anti-trafficking organization have a special place in your drawer or closet so you always know where they’ll be when you reach for them– which you may not even think about doing; it’s just muscle memory by now.
2. You don’t hesitate to tell people statistics about human trafficking— even when you just met them.
This is a fight you believe in whole-heartedly. Everyone needs to know this is happening and everyone has a part in stopping it, whether that’s your best friend, the guy you’re on a first date with, or the old man that just sat next to you at the bus stop. You know that part of your role in the fight is helping others find their role, a conversation often started by laying out the facts for them. After all, how could you turn down a role in the fight when 300,000 American children are trafficked in the U.S. each year?
3. You have discussed porn in at least one meeting, coffee date, or airport.
If you work in the anti-trafficking movement, this conversation may or may not have happened in a meeting with high-powered executives. If you’re more on the reserved side, this conversation likely happened over coffee with a friend as you discussed a recent news article you read about the TraffickingHub petition. If you’re more like me, it may have looked more like a conversation with a soccer mom in an airport about how teenagers in possession of nudes, including their own, is a child pornography charge waiting to happen and children need to be educated on internet and technology safety. (Hope your conversation with your daughter went over well, friend, it was nice to meet you.)
4. You can still remember the exact moment, story, or statistic that got you involved.
The moment your eyes were opened. The moment your heart was broken. The moment you decided that this was your calling, that you had to do something. We all have that moment. For some of us, it’s looking in the face of a survivor that we love. For some of us, it is hearing the story of a sweet little boy who experienced the worst of humanity. For some of us, it’s knowing that only 1% of survivors will be identified and without proper treatment, 80% of that 1% will be revictimized. You have that moment, and you remember it like it was yesterday.
5. Your favorite part of the movement is cheering on survivors.
You are well aware of how hard it can be to be a part of this movement. It can be physically exhausting, mentally draining, and emotionally overwhelming. But the moment you hear that a survivor escaped successfully, your heart skips a beat. When you see that link of a survivor publishing her story, you can’t click fast enough. You are the first on the Zoom call, the first to buy tickets, the first to stand and clap when you hear a survivor sharing their story. Reading email updates of a survivor making it to a safe house with her baby warms your heart. These moments are what makes it all worth it because this fight was never about you, never for you. It’s always been about them.